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On Sunday April 2nd, 2017, fifty-seven people boarded a coach bus in front of Wok-N-Roll in Albert Lea, destination being the Plymouth Playhouse’s 2 p.m. performance in Plymouth, MN. Before the bus departed, it was announced that the driver, Don, liked attention for a job well done. The bus passengers were to give a round of applause when the bus arrived at the Church Basement Ladies’ performance and a round of applause when the bus arrived back in Albert Lea. Don did his job, and the bus passengers responded with their part of the agreement. 

As is usual, the passengers hoot, holler and cheer for the last person to get on the bus. Carol Miller took the honors.

As the bus headed north on I-35, Bob Hanson introduced Bev Indrelie, Wayne Indrelie, and Genie Hanson as co-hosts of F.R.O.G. (Fully Rely on God), an outreach mission of Central Freeborn Lutheran Church, rural Albert Lea, to promote fun, food and fellowship. (Genie Hanson was unable to attend as she somehow managed to contact the Freeborn County sore throat, cough and ache-all-over bug.)

Deal or No Deal for prizes was played with Darlene Hendrickson winning the best prize of a gourmet candle light dinner for two with dessert. Darlene was a good trooper as she accepted two small candles, a box of macaroni and cheese, plus two small boxes of Jell-O. 

As usual, the Church Basement Ladies’ performance was one laugh after another, especially with the men involved. The musical comedy was centered in a small Lutheran church in Minnesota celebrating their Diamond Jubilee in July of 1964. 

On the way home I mentioned that it was too bad it was sprinkling. Three ladies answered back in unison, “April showers bring May flowers.” 

Eunice Bakken, Darlene Nicolai and Peg Shelton—you are so right. 

Their quick reply brought back memories of a paper I wrote a long time ago for a college class in Greek Mythology. My research led me to Thor, the god of thunder, and raindrops in the spring that could make the faces of all ladies shine with beauty. I looked around and sure enough, all forty-six of the ladies on the bus had shining, beautiful faces. Thor was the name of the Norse mythology god. It was the only “C” grade I ever received in college, as I was in a Greek Mythology class, not Norwegian. 

Gale Nelson gave the table prayer just before we got off the bus. Wok-N-Roll employees welcomed us and held the doors open as we entered. Mary S. helped by pouring the beverage.

Genie Hanson wrote a song for the Wok-N-Roll bus choir to the tune of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Judy Hellie directed the first group of singers and Karen Erickson directed the second group.

Many thanks to: Sara at Perkins, Gayla at KFC, Debbie at Arby’s, the two managers at DQ South, Caribou at Hy-Vee, plus Trumble’s—all in Albert Lea—for the furnishing of bus prizes.

A special thanks to Shannon for the Beanie Babies, as each person on the bus got one along with food coupons in a plastic bag from the Albert Lea Convention and Business Bureau. (Thanks Verlaine and Susie for the bags.)

The next planned F.R.O.G. activity is a coach bus to Lutheran Night at the Twins baseball game August 8, leaving at 4 p.m. from Albert Lea. Each person on the bus will get a Twins Beanie Baby. 



Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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